Bite Mark Impressions - Teacher Information
Small Styrofoam plates (1 per student)
Permanent Markers (1 per student)
Rulers (1 per student)
Assortment of soft candies (Swedish fish, orange slices, Laffy Taffy, circus peanuts, etc.) Overhead Transparencies (Cut into fourths)
Part 1: Make an Impression
Distribute Styrofoam plates and permanent markers to each student Instruct students to bend the plate in half so that the top of the plate is on the inside. They need to label one half with "maxilla" and one half with "mandible".
Demonstrate how to make a bite mark impression on the plate. Students will need to put the folded plate into their mouth as fall as possible and bite down on it to make a good impression. They should not bite too deep as to break through the plate.
Provide each student with a piece of clear transparency and a permanent marker. They will need to place the plastic on top of their impression on the plate and use a permanent marker to trace the dental pattern onto the plastic as accurately as possible. Have students unbend the plate and use a ruler to make the required measurements for width and depth of the impressions on both jaws. They will also need to note any unique characteristics they observe, such as slanted teeth, spaces, evidence of braces, etc.
Part 2: Tasty Testing
Pass out one piece of one type of soft candy to each student. Instruct students to gently bite into each piece of candy in order to make an impression, but not too hard to bite it in half.
Have the students record a rating for the quality of the impression (poor, fair, good) along with their observations, such as candy sticking to their teeth or whether or not it was too hard/soft to make a good impression.
Repeat the testing with the other types of soft candy available. NOTE: Circus peanuts and Laffy Taffy seemed to work the best for our impressions. Challenge (Optional)
To prepare for the challenge, provide...
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